March 25, 2012 in Features

Centenarian: Palma Ungaro


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Palma Emma (Pugliese) Ungaro plans to celebrate her 100th birthday Monday. She was born March 26, 1912, in Olsen, B.C. She has been a resident of Spokane for 56 years.

Ungaro met her husband, Nino Ungaro, in Natal, B.C. They were married in 1930. He died in 1947.

Ungaro picked coal to supplement her income after Nino’s death. She moved to Spokane in 1956 and worked at Newberry’s and The Bend Restaurant. She also worked as a doctor’s receptionist for three years. She has been an avid reader of The Spokesman-Review for 55 years. She loves playing bingo at Hillyard Senior Center and going to casinos.

Ungaro credits her long and healthy life to not going to a doctor, as they will find something wrong; enjoying every day because something new will happen; and making sure none of her visitors ever left her house without something to eat.

When asked what has been her most memorable moment in the past 100 years, Ungaro mentioned seeing her children grown and married and happy. She advises never missing a chance to be happy, because God will take care of the rest.

Ungaro has four children: Eleanor Wallen, Mead; Alfred Ungaro, Spokane; the late Orlando Ungaro, and the late Ida Heisler. She has 12 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, eight great-great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.

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